Mike Hernandez, the deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Education Department, was chosen Wednesday night to be the next superintendent of the Hot Springs School District.

I’m awaiting details on when that change takes effect, because Hernandez’s current presence qualifies Johnny Key to hold the job of state education commissioner.


Key, a former Republican senator, was chosen by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to lead the Education Department. This first required a change in the law that required the commissioner to have a teacher’s certificate, a master’s degree and 10 years of experience in education, none of which Key had. The law change allow an unqualified commissioner so long as the deputy commissioner met those standards, which Hernandez does.

A new deputy with qualifications will be necessary to keep Key eligible to hold the job.


I have a question in to Education Department about transition in that spot.

Hernandez was hired for a three-year contract in Hot Springs that begins July 1. He succeeds the retiring Joyce  Craft.


A spokesman for Commissioner Key said:

   We intend to fill this position in the most expeditious manner to ensure continuity when Dr. Hernandez transitions to his new role.